Tuesday, my social media tech guy and I were burning up the Internet with emails, trying to figure out why a completely inoffensive story I shared on Facebook was suddenly slapped with a banner asking readers to vote on whether this was “hate speech.” I won’t go into whether our emails contained any hate speech directed at the Facebook admins. But turns out they weren’t just targeting me: a new feature that’s still in testing got turned on by mistake, and everyone’s stories were suddenly up for votes on whether they should be flagged as “hate speech.” Fair enough, that explains what happened yesterday, apology accepted.
Now, on to the next question for Facebook: “Are you out of your ever-loving minds?!!”
Do you seriously think that a reasonable way to identify stories containing “hate speech” is to let the general public vote on it? You do realize that includes a huge contingent of people who seemingly have nothing to do with their time but cruise the Internet, looking to be outraged and offended by absolutely everything, from a teenager’s Chinese-patterned prom dress to Apu from “The Simpsons”? These are the same people who riot on campus to censor Ben Shapiro, calling him a white supremacist and a Nazi, even though he’s an Orthodox Jew married to an Israeli citizen of Moroccan heritage.
Letting all Facebook users have access to the “hate speech” flagging alert system would be as terrible an idea as trusting a gaggle of drunken teenagers with their high school’s fire alarm. This may have been the kind of mistake that turns out to be good in the long run, like accidentally discovering penicillin. Facebook saw the chaos and fury that ensued when every last story on the site, no matter how innocuous, was flagged with a “hate speech” banner. So why would they want to have that happen again, 24/7?
PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT. I READ THEM!
OR IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO SEND ME A MESSAGE, GO HERE.